Summer Swim Vibes at West Campus Pool in Berkeley - 510 Families
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Summer Swim Vibes at West Campus Pool in Berkeley

West Campus Pool in Berkeley is an affordable swimming option with warm water and a diving board. They don’t have much by of way extras (no toys, inflatables, slides), so it’s pretty much just a basic community pool. Still, kids don’t necessarily need all the fancy-schmancy extras, just an imagination. My four kids, ages 5 to 12, recently enjoyed several hours of good old-fashioned pool play at this community pool, followed by a tasty chocolate-dipped soft-serve cone across the street at Fosters Freeze. Talk about classic summer vibes!

west Campus Pool sign
West Campus Pool in West Berkeley offers old-school summer fun | Photo: Julie Herson

West Campus Pool Community and Family Swim

During the summer West Campus Pool has both Community and Family Swim hours every day on their schedule.

  • Family Swim (just the shallow part of the pool): Mon-Fri: 7 am – 10 am; Sat: 4:30 pm–6:30 pm; Sun: 8 am–10 am.
  • Community Swim (the entire pool area and diving well): Mon-Thu: 12:30 pm – 3 pm; Fri: 12:30 pm – 4 pm; Sat: 2:30 pm–4:30 pm; Sun: 10 am–noon.
girl walking on grass towards pool
A large pool with warm water and plenty of lifeguards on hand | Photo: Julie Herson

When we visited on a random Thursday at around 1 pm, there were a couple of larger camp groups there. Some of the bigger kids were a bit splashy, but generally, the pool is large enough to accommodate everyone. There are several tables, bleachers, and fake grass to lay your towels out on and relax in the sun.

Swim at Strawberry Canyon Pool in the Berkeley Hills>

kid jumping in pool from diving board
You have to pass the swim test to enjoy the diving board | Photo: Julie Herson

All my kids took the swim test so they could gain access to the deep end and diving board. You’ll need to swim a full lap of the pool and then tread water for a full minute to pass.

Pro Tip: Go to the pool with groupings of similarly skilled swimmers to avoid awkwardness.

Swimming Lessons for kids in the East Bay >

The pool recently underwent some maintenance in 2022, but it doesn’t necessarily seem all that refreshed. The showers and locker room are pretty bare-bones and a bit dingy. Overall though it’s fine for a basic community pool.

kids laying on grass by pool
The turf “grass” provided a nice place to lay out and relax | Photo: Julie Herson

Plan your visit to West Campus Pool

Heads up: You must buy your passes ahead online.

You’ll need to create an account on the Berkeley Rec website and then navigate to the Aquatics tab. Next scroll down to Daily Aquatic Drop-in Pass and add to cart. The price is $6, but the kids were only charged $3. You’ll then have the passes with bar codes on your phone, which you can either print out or just scan directly from your phone at the pool.

Lots more places to swim in the East Bay >>

What to Bring:

  • Usual pool stuff – towels, goggles, etc.
  • Not much shade, so definitely sunscreen and hats
  • Game ideas

Location/Parking: 2100 Browning St, Berkeley. Free parking is available in the lot just south of the pool.

Fosters Freeze for post-swim treats: 1199 University Ave. at Curtis Street, Berkeley

Stop by Strawberry Creek Park for running around, play equipment, creek splashing, or a coffee.

Website >

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